Hula-Hoops are trending, but it’s not your childhood version

Instead of spinning hoops around the waist as kids have done for decades, Hula-Hoop dancers have some new moves as the trend returns.

They are now throwing them into the air and twirling them around the body. Some use bright, flashing hoops. Others use multiple hoops at the same time.

Angela Presnell, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, was mesmerized by all the Hula-Hoop activity on Instagram, so she bought a big hoop five years ago and began with the classic move: moving the hoop around her waist.

“I was instantly hooked. It was a movement mediation that I needed during that time in my life,” Presnell, 24, said. “Then over time it just followed me everywhere I went. I was going to different cities, and I was bringing my hoops. My hoops were getting smaller. I was getting better.”

Five years later, she can do all sorts of tricks, such as balancing the hoop on her nose and throwing it in the air and catching it between her ankles. Hooping became her form of self-expression, as she developed her own signature style.

Last year, she created @lilhoopgirl on TikTok to document her progress.

Hula-Hoop video goes viral

“I make TikToks just for fun. I just put my phone up and dance to a goofy popular song. I didn’t expect anything to happen,” she said.

Presnell was shocked when her first video on TikTok went viral, raking in more than 2 million views. Her page, @lilhoopgirl, now has more than 283,000 followers and more than 6.2 million likes. On Instagram, she has another 21,500 followers.

Though they have existed since the late 1950s, Hula-Hoops have become a recent social media favorite with influencers such as Presnell, Melina Bear and Alice Nimmo taking this childhood trend to a whole new level.

On TikTok, there are more than 972.8 million views with the hashtag #HulaHoop.

A surge in demand

Companies selling hoops have reported an increase in demand. Hoopologie, based in Boulder, Colorado, had a 25% increase in sales during the pandemic in 2020, according to founder Melinda Rider.

“TikTok introduced many to this art and exercise activity,” Rider said.

There are three types of hooping trending right now.

The version you’re used to doing as a child is called on-body. With this style, the hoop spins around the waist, chest, shoulders, arms, knees and really any body part. Through a series of moves, these hoopers transition the hoop from one body part to another in one seemingly effortless motion.

Presnell specializes in off-body hooping, which has become more popular during the pandemic. It involves tossing, flipping and catching the hoop. Picture dancing but with the added complexity of a hoop being flung and caught while grooving. “It’s a lot of fun, fast moves that, when you’re watching, you’re like, ‘what just happened?'” Presnell explained.

Finally, there is weighted hooping. These hoops are large and can weigh up to 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms). Weighted hoops are used as a fitness routine to strengthen abdominal muscles. These hoops are designed to stay around your waist.

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